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  • Writer's pictureDonna

Beef Barbacoa

Updated: May 21, 2023

Spicy, shredded beef that is perfect for tacos, nachos, or a quick lunch.

This version of barbacoa is spicy and is another family favorite. The tomatoes and vinegar bring a tangy, brightness to the spice of the peppers. We love it on its own and in tacos.


This is another batch cooking (or meal prepping) recipe that we use for lunches. If you want it for a single meal, just reduce all the ingredients based on the difference in the amount of meat you use. The meat cooks for a long time in a stock pot on the stove. I usually make the sauce it cooks in a day ahead to save time on the day of cooking.


To "save time," using that phrase loosely here, I often cook more than one of my batch or bulk meals on the same day. Since this and the mojo cuban pork take so long to cook, I prep the day before and cook all day starting first thing in the morning.


Beef Barbacoa

Prep Time: 5-10 min.

Cook Time: 5 hours.


Ingredients

  • 8-10 lbs of bottom round or chuck roast

  • 3 14-oz cans of no salt added diced tomatoes

  • 2 tbsp no salt added tomato paste

  • 1-2 7.5-oz cans of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (choose the number of cans based on your spice tolerance; I use 2 because we like a lot of spice/heat)

  • 1-2 4.5-oz cans of chopped green chiles (again, choose the number and degree of heat based on your spice tolerance; I use 2 medium heat cans)

  • 2 fresh jalapenos (optional)

  • 1 sweet onion

  • 1 shallot (or 2 cloves of garlic)

  • 2 tbsp Mexican oregano

  • 14-oz apple cider vinegar (I fill one of the empty tomato cans to measure this)

  • 2 tbsp ground cumin

  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cloves

  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Directions

  1. Peel and cut the onion and shallot in half.

  2. Cut the jalapenos in half (remove seeds if you like less heat).

  3. Add half of the ingredients, except the meat, to a food processor. Due to the size of most home food processors, I do this in two steps adding half of these ingredients at a time.

  4. Blend at medium speed for ~20-25 seconds. This will still be slightly chunky (like a fine salsa). Empty into a large bowl with a lid (makes 14 cups of sauce, so make sure the bowl is large enough to hold that much liquid).

  5. Repeat with the remaining half of the ingredients in step 3 and blend as directed in step 4.

  6. Put the bowl of tomato and pepper mixture in the fridge, covered, until ready to cook.

  7. Heat a the olive oil in a large stock pot (preferably one with a lid) over medium-high heat.

  8. For large roasts, cut in half or thirds for more manageable sized pieces.

  9. Brown each side of all the meat, a few chunks at a time. Using tongs, remove the meat from pan and brown the remaining meat the same way. When the last one is browned, return all meat to the pot and cover with the sauce you made in previous steps.

  10. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low heat, cover with lid, and simmer for ~5 hours.

  11. Check meat every hour or so, stir, and start breaking it up with tongs. When I check on the meat, I pull out any floating fat pieces and siphon off the melted fat by placing a clean paper towel on the surface.

  12. Meat is done when it easily breaks apart and starts to shred.

  13. Remove from heat.

  14. Place a large strainer over a large bowl and slowly add the meat mixture to the strainer with a ladle.

  15. When the majority of the moisture is drained, transfer meat to another large bowl and shred any large pieces.

  16. If the meat seems dry, add a little of the drained sauce to moisten it.

  17. Let it cool completely; unless you want to eat it now, then go ahead. Portion out sizes and place in freezer bags. When the bags are cooled to room temp, place them in the freezer.


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